The U.S.-Mexico border isn’t the only place Donald Trump wants to put up a wall: He also wants to build one to protect a golf course he owns in Ireland from storm damage, TheJournal.ie reports, but a planning board this week ruled against the proposal.
Trump bought Doonbeg Golf Club and Resort, in County Clare, for a reported 15 million euros (about $17 million) in 2014. “Doonbeg is an already terrific property that we will make even better,” he said at the time. “It will soon be an unparalleled resort destination with the highest standards of luxury.”
Doonbeg sits right on the Atlantic, at Carrowmore Bay, and is threatened by coastal erosion and storm damage. Trump’s holding company, TIGL Ireland Enterprise Limited, proposed to build a 2.8 kilometer (1.73984 mile) berm along a sand dune.
Seeking approval for the plan, TIGL applied for it to be declared a “strategic infrastructure development.” In its decision, the independent, quasi-judicial planning board An Bord Pleanála conceded that the golf course was a “valuable economic asset to County Clare” but declined the application. From the ruling:
It is noted that the golf resort is located along the Wild Atlantic Way, however, it is a private facility which does not attract passing tourist trade on any sort of regional scale. Although the proposed development seeks to protect existing local economic resources in the area, the proposed new berm structure and armoustone in its own right would not be of strategic economic or social importance to the State or the region in which it would be situate.
In its planning application, consultants for the Trump resort warned, “in the medium term, the ‘do nothing’ scenario will bring the viability of the entire resort and its potential closure into question.” This “would result in a permanent and profound negative economic impact” on Doonbeg and County Clare.
“The failure to protect this asset would have a profound adverse and permanent effect on the local economy,” the consultants threatened. An environmental impact assessment found that the dunes around the golf course are eroding at a pace of about .7 meters (or 2.3 feet) per year. An Bord Pleanála’s rejection of the application means TIGL has to go back to the Clare County Council.
According to the Irish Independent, conservationists opposed the plan over concerns that it would threaten the habitat of the narrow-mouth whorl snail. Earlier this year, Trump referred to his investment in the Irish golf course as “small potatoes.”